It's that time of the year again..

After 20 years (and 19 contests) in 2022, the SHC returns once again for 2023!

Please read this information carefully as there have been a few changes compared to last year.

As always, if there are any suggestions or enquiries please contact us so we can get back to you.


CONTEST SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE: End of Sunday 17th September

CONTEST UPDATES DEADLINE: End of Sunday 24th September

EXPO SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE: End of Sunday 1st October


CONTEST WEEK FROM: Monday 23rd to Sunday 29th October

Contest Dates and Contest Week

We considered the possibility of moving SHC outwith the middle of October but have decided to keep it as the most suitable week.

Like the last few years, the public will have a chance to view this year's entries, download the hacks and vote for Community Trophies which are only applicable to Contest entries.

If you're planning to debut your submission to the public you can do it then, however nobody can be stopped from releasing earlier. If you want to show it off to the biggest audience possible, the Contest Week is your best time for it.

As before, we'll have an extensive list of streamers playing the entries during the Contest Week - these will be announced closer to the time of the Contest when they have been finalised.

In addition to streaming, there will also be dedicated YouTube uploads of games being played too, the Media Panel is not just for streamers. We'll also have news coverage much like last year.

The Media Panel is a stacked lineup that continues from previous years of the Contest Week, as a result it can be hard for us to open stream space to more people as we do not want to overlap other streams unless we have no choice.

Therefore, if you are a content creator and we think you would be a great fit to our lineup, we will contact you to invite you on board, however please understand that we do not have the capacity for every person out there.

We experimented with more Non-English streams in 2022 and the door remains open to expand this with more languages. If you have an established platform with a good audience that can help out with this, do contact us.

Like with previous years, there will be a Contest Week trailer. Please check out the Trailer Submissions page for information on how to submit for the trailer, and when to do this.

Deadlines and Judging

As per before, you can choose to submit your entry to the Contest (which is judged) and the Expo (which is not, and therefore has a later deadline for entries).

This will allow us to ensure that we can better tackle niche games (should any be submitted), better than in prior contests.

Please note regarding Expo entries:

Whilst we encourage Expo entries, especially for those who do not want their entries to be judged, please note that SHC do not see them as unimportant compared to Contest entries.

We encourage all to download Contest and Expo entries, and there are always good Expo entries that stand out just as well as Contest entries, they are not always under the radar.

We cannot however force our streamers to play all entries, especially with a limited schedule for many, and if some focus on just Contest entries, it is because those are eligible for trophy voting.

Entries and Limits

While we encourage as many entries as possible from the wider community for the Contest and Expo, there had been a lot of feedback regarding excessive entries, generally by the same people.

This year, to address that complaint, we are now introducing a limit of three entries per person to the Contest. We feel that is a fair and adequate limit to adhere to. While this isn't going to be a hard-coded limit to the site itself, it is going to be checked for and adhered to before deadlines are met.

Where possible, multiple entries should be merged into a single entry if appropriate, such as character implementation mods. If we feel that an entry would be better merged we will contact you to suggest it.

There is no limit to Team entries, or entries submitted to the non-judged Expo, although we will still contact you about merging appropriate entries of both.

These limits are being put in place so people have time to play as many entries as possible during the Contest Week and, of course, afterwards as well. If you feel that you cannot adhere to these limits, please do not hesitate to contact us as to why, as appropriate reasoning will allow the limit to be wavered.

Uploads and Patches

As per last year, all entries will be uploaded to the site. No off-site links will be permitted again.

Again, our download system allowed for entries to be downloaded without putting any strain on the website, and other than a minor server issue, at no point did the site go down during the week.

Last year, we introduced one-click installs of entries on the SHC website when the entries are available to download during the Contest Week, for ease of access and to ensure people play the correctly entered mod builds.

This will continue again this year, and if anyone is developing a mod loader and wants SHC one click implementation added, please contact us so we can provide you with what you need for it.

As per last year, we will also offer a separate upload area where entrants can offer additional files where required for Judges and Media Panel such as save files to access all content they want to show. We will also improve the presentation of the descriptions, including when being downloaded from the site, as this was another issue that had been reported from last year too.

As a general note to anyone who submits, please ensure that you follow the instructions given on the website, filling in the required details where asked to, as well as marking your entry as Complete in order to submit.

Entries marked as Incomplete by the end of the Contest deadline will be moved to the Expo. Entries marked as Incomplete by the end of the Expo deadline will not be showcased.

The Judges

In 2021 we expanded the judging team to include more community members, each specialized in the various entry categories.

Thoroughly judging entries is time consuming. In 2020 we had a 35% increase in the total amount of entries due for judging compared to the previous three years.

While judges have their preference in terms of how much time is spent on a hack, the fact is that in order to play all contest hacks through from the beginning to the end it typically takes anywhere between 12 and 20 hours.

For those judges who write verbose evaluations, the overall time taken can sometimes even double.

With judges only focusing on one area, this should improved the situation for judges and entrants alike.

While most judges will be sticking to categories they are specialized in, certain judges may choose to judge one or more entry categories.

In 2022, we introduced mods of Sonic 3 A.I.R to the 2DPC judging section, however we did notice in general there were a number of issues in this section when it came to judging and evaluation of entries.

As a result, we agreed to refresh the 2DPC section with new judges, and bring in people with knowledge of Sonic 3 A.I.R to ensure fairer representation, something that in hindsight we should have done more in 2022.

Retro Entries:

• D.A. Garden, Jubbalub, Ravenfreak, SSF1991 (Donnie), SunkythePootis, SuperEgg, and Yoshister

2DPC Entries:

• Axanery, Cosmic Eternity, Dynamic Lemons, HazelSpooder, JackIAm, Leonx254, MegAmi, MiaCDi, SSF1991 (Donnie), and techncolour

3D Entries:

• ceramic, HyperBE32, ItsEasyActually, Sajid, Sewer56, SF94, Skyth, SpeepsHighway, and SSF1991 (Donnie)

Cinossu remains involved with the SHC website and will be focusing on that this year rather than taking part in judging.

Judges & Contest Submissions

Judges will be allowed to submit their own hacks, however they will not be allowed to judge their own entries (conflict of interest).

This includes submissions that they have been involved with, such as team submissions.

Like last year a spreadsheet has been made to track which games individual Judges can play, although bear in mind this year, Judges will only judge their own section unless otherwise stated.

After the main contest finishes, the Judges will provide more detailed evaluations of the entries to give their opinion, thoughts, and advice they feel is deserved.


This judge list is not final and additional judges may be recruited to replace former judges who have left the contest due to retiring or other reasons.

Do not ask to be a judge as that just rules you out. If we think you're up to the job, we'll talk to you.

Not all judges can judge all games as they may not have the capability to do so.

For example: 360/PS3 based Sonic hacks requiring either powerful PC for emulation or hacked console. If you submit a non 8/16-bit entry please have this in mind.

The majority of judges however are capable of playing PC-based game entries. Due to the category split, this should not be much of a problem this year.

Please note that the final decisions are subject to the Judging Team and may not reflect your own opinion. If one hack wins a whole load of trophies that is what the judges thought should win.

Judges may change at any time due to unavailability or other reasons.


The format is the same to last year, however these trophies will be given themed names before the Contest voting begins. First, we have three main categories that entries can fall under:

• Retro
For any and all retro console hack entries. This also will include the PC games Sonic & Knuckles Collection, Sonic 3D Blast / Flickies' Island.

• 3D
For all entries based on the 3D Sonic games outright, whether it's Sonic R, Sonic Adventure DX, Sonic 06, Sonic Forces, the list goes on and on.

• 2D PC
For those entries based on the 2D ports, rereleases, and remasters on PC, as well as Sonic Mania, Sonic Origins, RSDK decompilations, and Sonic 3 Angel Island Revisited (A.I.R.) mods.

Please check the Rules page regarding eligible 2D PC entries as some types of submissions remain Expo Only.

Quality Control Criteria will still be strictly enforced. Low effort or basic mods will not be allowed into the Contest or Expo. It is not a free-for-all.

Please note that we may announce additional trophies prior to the Contest Week going live for voting, as we look at introducing or reviving other trophies.

Sonic Trophy
1st Place

Entry voted first place

Tails Trophy
2nd Place

Entry voted second place

Knuckles Trophy
3rd Place

Entry voted third place

Quartz Quadrant Trophy
Best Visual

Entry voted to have the best graphical work

D.A. Garden Trophy
Best Audio

Entry voted to have the best sound work

Hexadecimal Trophy
Best Technical

Entry voted to have the best technical work

Chemical Plant Trophy
Best Level Design

Entry voted to have the best level design work

Radiant Emerald Trophy
Best Special Stage Design

Entry voted to have the best special stage design work

Professor Pickle Trophy
Most Entertaining

Entry voted the most entertaining

Polygon Jim Trophy
Most "WTF?!"

Entry voted the most "what the absolute fuck is this?!"

Chaotix Trophy
Best Team Entry

Entry voted best that was made by a team

Rivals Trophy
Best Multiplayer Entry

Entry voted to have the best multiplayer functionality

Storybook Trophy
Best Cutscenes

Entry voted to have the best newly implemented or edited cutscenes

Emerl Trophy
Best Character Implementation

Entry voted to have the best character implementation that doesn't normally exist in the game modified

EggRobo Trophy
Best Boss Design

Entry voted to have the best new or modified boss design

Motobug Trophy
Best Enemy Design

Entry voted to have the best new or modified enemy design

Mania Trophy
Best Fresh Concept Using Existing Concepts As A Backbone

Entry voted to have the best fresh concepts implemented while using previous or pre-existing concepts as a backbone

Spinball Trophy
Best Entry of a Game Not Commonly Modified

Entry voted best using a game not commonly modified as a base

Blaze Trophy
Most Potential

Entry thought to have the most future potential

Silver Trophy
Most Improved

Entry thought to have improved the most since its entry in a previous year

Studiopolis Trophy
Best Voted by Media Panel

Entry voted the best by the Media Panel